So much has changed since the onset of the pandemic two years ago! Who could have guessed how many ways our lives would be affected? Now it’s 2022, and remote work from home continues to be popular as employers try to balance the need for productivity with the health and safety of their staff. If you are fortunate enough to work from home, creating an appealing workspace is important to your well-being and productivity.
Try these tips to make the most of your remote workspace.
Identify the perfect space. If you’re lucky, you have a dedicated home office that you can design to meet your personality and needs. If you don’t have a separate workspace, find one where you can separate yourself from your family, roommates, and pets while you’re working. It might be a cozy spot in the corner of your dining room, in an unused closet or loft, or maybe tucked away in in your bedroom.
Brighten your space with natural light. If possible, situate your workspace near skylights, windows or windowed doors. This can boost your mood and productivity, and also provide good lighting for Microsoft Teams or Zoom meetings.
Keep it clutter-free. When you are in the midst of a dozen tasks at a time, it can be hard to be neat. Try taking 10 minutes at the end of your day to organize your files (paper and digital) and your workspace. This will help keep your work area clutter-free, prepare you for the next day, and help you mentally “close” the office down for the day.
Spruce it up, literally or figuratively. Greenery in your workspace can add color and texture while also creating a pleasant environment to work in. Don’t have a green thumb? Try adding low-maintenance succulents or artificial plants to your workspace to liven things up.
Personalize it. No matter how big your workspace is (or isn’t), make it your own with photos, artwork, candles, fun desk accessories, and office supplies. Working from home gives you more freedom in how you decorate, so create a space that you will enjoy being in. Your space doesn’t have to be Instagram-worthy (sorry, Insta!) but it should be pleasing to you! Added bonus – your workspace will look professional yet personal in your next video meeting.
Comfort is key. We all know that ergonomics is important. That’s true of home offices too. Review your equipment and posture – chair, desk height, computer, and keyboard height. Does your chair provide adequate support? Are your feet flat on the ground and your arms parallel to your thighs? Are you slouching or sitting up straight? Make adaptations if you are missing the mark in any of these areas. Consider a standing desk to periodically switch positions. If you don’t have the budget for needed changes, ask your employer if they would be willing to help with work-related expenses, especially if they anticipate you’ll be working from home for a while.
Treat it like a normal workday. Sure, it is great to break out of the routine of commuting to an office every day, but you still need to be productive. Whenever possible, dress for work (at least from the waist up, Zoomers), show up on time, take regular breaks, and leave your workspace at lunchtime. And at the end of the day, after you organize and plan for tomorrow, walk away. Shut your door, turn off your laptop, or whatever it takes to mentally turn work off until the next work day.
Don’t forget to be social. Working from home can be very isolating, especially if the rest of the family goes off to work or school during the day. Make time to communicate with colleagues via tech tools (e.g., Zoom, Slack, Teams, Messenger) so you stay connected. It is too easy to drop off the grid. Take care of yourself and maintain important relationships while working from home.
We don’t know how long our work-at-home world will last, but it is easy to make the most of it if you are creative and follow these helpful tips. Have tips to share? We’d love to hear them! Share them with us on social media.